Staff Leadership


Barbee Thomas, Systems Director

 Barbee brings to Menlo Park Academy a wealth of background in multiple areas, including internal systems and technology. Most recently, she served as the director of information systems at Urban Community School and Saint Ignatius High School.

The native Ohioan has an extensive background in dance, and when she’s not at Menlo, works with several dance and civic organizations.


Karen Uthe Semancik, Communications Director

Karen has nearly three decades of communications, marketing and public relations experience in the education, nonprofit, pet and broadcasting industries. Most recently she served as a reporter for a weekly group of newspapers, and prior to that as marketing director for an all-girl, private high school. The native Clevelander also owned a small creative agency for more than a decade.

 After hours, Karen is active in all things pet (from dog therapy to rescue work), as well as biking, running, farmers markets and of course, family. She received a BSJ from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism, with a focus on public relations.